Maine retirees to receive cost-of-living adjustments
Augusta — Retired teachers and state employees will be receiving a cost-of-living adjustment before the end of September due to funds that were set aside by the Legislature in the 2012-2013 biennial budget.
The 2012-2013 biennial budget suspended cost-of-living adjustments for eligible retired state employees and teachers for three years, 2011-2013. Bi-partisan changes were made by the Legislature to prevent the pension system from going insolvent. Unfunded liability was reduced from $4.1 billion to $2.4 billion. Unlike many other states, Maine did this without increasing employee contributions. To help offset this suspension, lawmakers created a reserve for retirement benefits in case budget surpluses became available. State revenues permitting, $15 million was set aside each year for payment of non-cumulative cost-of living adjustment for the three years in which the COLA is suspended.
The 2011 adjustments are determined by applying the 2011 Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers up to 3 percent to the first $20,000 of each eligible retiree’s benefit. The increase in the CPI-U for the year ending June 30, 2011 was 3.6 percent.
While the mailing of the checks has already started, eligible retirees should receive a lump sum check by the end of September 2012
For more information, contact Katz’s office at 287-1505.